12 Aug Laura: Sawfly improvements
Northeast Colorado: As conditions allowed, we started funneling equipment into Colorado while some of us finished up in Kansas. The wet conditions have gradually turned off though. There were a few showers, as one expects on the Front Range, in the summer. The crew was able to move around to dry wheat, so, thankfully, down time was minimal.
Something that has plagued north eastern Colorado over the recent years is a pest called sawfly. I talked about it in detail on a post several years ago, but a brief synopsis is that the damage caused by larvae, near the base of the stem, often causes the plant to lodge around harvest time. To be lodged means the wheat falls over and lays on the ground. Just to name a few of the problems, this can cause yield loss, wear and tear to equipment as it has to run low to the ground, increased harvest times as machines run slower to try to pick up the wheat, and driver fatigue.
Producers have been trying to combat this problem through crop rotations and other cultural practices in the field. One of those is using a blend of wheat varieties to help bring in a combination of desirable traits to fight the lodging issue. There was still some lodging as the pest continues to be an issue, but the practices mentioned have improved harvest conditions.
This year, northeast Colorado saw yields in the 40 to 45 bushel per acre range.
The haze made for some lovely sunsets.
Always love sunsets … always.
Laura Haffner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal.